Juan Flores, still one of the few people to write about the ecstatic utopian music form called bugalú/Latin boogaloo, reconstructs a conversation between Jimmy Sabater and Joe Cuba before the first time the band played "Bang Bang" at a "Black" dance at the club that would become the Cheetah:
I have a special love for bugalú, born the same year I was, 1966. The songs are not as melodically or rhythmically sophisticated as salsa or soul, but they cook! They always sound like you've walked into the middle of a party -- a really great party. As much a dance as a song, it's infectious; passive listening is near impossible.
Joe's band, the Joe Cuba Sextet, was radical, stripping down the lush mambo orchestra to conga, timbal, piano, vibraphone and bass, where even the melodic instruments have a share in carrying the beat, the beat, the beat. And the vocals, erupting from every corner, "corn bread, hog maw and chitlins" "cuchifritos, lechón, lechón, lechón." Cheo Feliciano soneando. Heaven.
I bet the tickets for Joe's first afterlife gig are already sold out.
UPDATE: Joe Cuba will be viewed at the R&G Ortiz Funeral Home located at
204 E. 116th Street, NYC 10029 between 3rd & 2nd Avenues.
212.722.3512 on Wednesday & Thursday, February 18th & 19th from
2 to 10 p.m.
A funeral mass service will be held Friday morning at 11 a.m. at St. Paul's Church located @ 213 E. 117th Street, between Park & Lexington.
(h/t to Clemson and David G. for the info)